Friday, September 2, 2011
Hello Kitty Cupcakes- "Pink Velvet" Stuffed with White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
You could not have imagined my excitement when I first found the perfect Hello Kitty cookie cutter in the Little Tokyo area of Downtown L.A. I finally had the reason to use it to create these edible kitty heads out of gum paste to top this girly, fun cupcake.
The cupcake flavor is "pink velvet" and was made from a recipe I found off of this blog. I had tried a couple of pink velvet cupcake recipes using buttermilk and cocoa powder, but the color was consistently off, so I decided to go for this version, which is more like a white chocolate flavored pound cake. Each cupcake is stuffed with white chocolate cheesecake filling and raspberry sauce, and then topped with raspberry buttercream. Since these cupcakes have several steps and the cheesecake takes a few hours to set, I would recommend making the cheesecake the night before you bake and assemble the cupcakes.
For the Pink Velvet Cupcakes:
* 8 ounces imported white chocolate, chopped
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
* 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1 1/3 cups sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
* 1 cup half and half
* Rose or pink gel food coloring as desired for correct color
Heat 1/4 cup heavy cream in small saucepan over medium-low heat until sides bubble. Remove from heat and stir in chopped chocolate until fully melted and combined. Set aside.
Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar. Once light and fluffy, add eggs one at a time. Add extracts and food coloring. Add in dry ingredients, alternating with half and half- be careful to not overmix. Fold in white chocolate ganache mixture.
Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until cake springs back to the touch.
For the Cheesecake filling (recipe adapted from Paula Deen's recipe)
* 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 3 large eggs
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 10 ounces fine white chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a 9-inch round baking pan with aluminum foil, letting edges of foil extend over sides of pan. Lightly grease the foil.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar, beating until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in white chocolate. Fold in sour cream last. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, open oven door for 30 seconds and close again. Leave cheesecake in for another 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool and then place in refrigerator to finish setting.
For the Raspberry Sauce:
3 cups fresh raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
Puree 2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries in a blender. Strain with fine mesh sieve to remove seeds. Set aside 1/3 of a cup for frosting.
Place remaining puree, 1 tsp corn starch, 1/2 cup fresh whole raspberries and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Place over low-medium heat until fully combined and slightly thickened (about 5-7 minutes).
For the Raspberry Buttercream
3 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup raspberry puree
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Cream butter and powdered sugar together, adding in puree slowly. Allow mixer to run 2-3 minutes to ensure smooth consistency. Add in heavy whipping cream and additional pink food coloring, if a darker shade is desired.
Once cupcakes are fully cooled (it helps to refrigerate them after they've cooled a bit out of the oven), core the center of each one out. Pour about a tsp of raspberry sauce into the core. Next, fill the core with a couple of spoons of cheesecake filling, pushing down on the filling with a spoon or wax paper. I highly recommend using wax paper or parchment paper to press in the filling because it's sticky and hard to press in otherwise. Top the cupcakes with another spoonful of raspberry sauce. Last, frost the cupcakes with the raspberry buttercream and top with Hello Kitty heads/pink sprinkles.
To make the Hello Kitty Cupcake Toppers:
I used gum paste because I was not in the mood to make a batch of marshmallow fondant. If you have a Hello Kitty cookie cutter, it makes this step MUCH easier. Otherwise, you can trace a picture of Hello Kitty onto a piece of wax paper and cut out the fondant with a paring knife. Once the Hello Kitty heads are cut, set aside and allow to dry by placing them on a flat container loosely covered with wax or parchment paper (it's best if you make the heads a night or two before, so that they have sufficient time to dry).
I used AmeriColor edible food pens to draw on Hello Kitty's face and bow. You should allow them to dry after coloring for at least 30 minutes.